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Friday, 3 August 2018

Memories of Nebraska (2)

The passage of time

 
 
One of the things I enjoy about Nebraska is that so much of its recent history is on the surface. I took this picture on a neighbour's ranch when I was staying in a hunting lodge in Cherry County. That was 2011. I'll be interested to see whether the wagon is still holding up. I kinda doubt it.




 

Monday, 30 July 2018

Memories of Nebraska (1)

The Wildcat Hills. (Don't believe what they tell you:  Nebraska ain't all flat.)


I've been thinking a lot about Nebraska recently. It's coming up to 25 years since I borrowed a bike and rode across the state from east to west, and on that entire trip I never took a single photo. I was travelling light.
 
I'm planning to re-visit my favourite haunts next year and collect images of the many places that still live with me. In the lead-up, I'll be publishing a few of my favourite pictures from the other 15 or 16 visits I've made to the Cornhusker state. Or is it 17? I have a list somewhere....

Friday, 20 July 2018

Just a bit more about Eric Knight

I am trying hard not to go on and on about the Eric Knight story. Having been a friend and mentor to author Greg Christie for close to twenty years, I have been privy to his every discovery about this remarkable man. The cover blurb of the book (https://amzn.to/2NwZmr3) hints at the scope of his life:



And there is a whole lot more. Read it, and find out.



 

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Available at last: the incredible, rags to riches story of Eric Knight, the man who wrote Lassie - and a whole lot more.

It came out three weeks ago, but I have been too busy to post about it. After twenty years of research, during which author Greg Christie went blind and I took over the final editing, the epic story of Eric Knight has been published.



It was a privilege to be a part of the process whereby Greg unravelled this remarkable story. I was able to help him as mentor, critic and friend, finally as editor.

Throughout the process, which began in 1999, I never returned to the burgeoning manuscript without feeling yet again, in my bones, that this was one of the truly great stories to emerge from mid-twentieth century literature. (Yes, I did say literature - because there was an awful lot more to Eric Knight than the little pot-boiler he wrote about a shaggy dog; an awful lot.)

I was constantly reminded, too, that this story is important for movie historians (the lad worked in Hollywood, and detested the place), military historians (he worked hand-in-glove with FDR in striving to secure American involvement in World War II) and students of the American Dream - because he lived it, big time.

Okay, I'll shut up now and suggest that you read the book. You will NOT be disappointed.



 



Saturday, 14 July 2018

Sherlock the Musical update

The new flyer is keeping my spirits up as I plough through yet another rendition of the script..




I have a huge long list of tasks to attend to, and we are due to move house shortly; but Sherlock The Musical is eating up my time. It's an exciting project, but boy is it tough.

I suppose I was being naïve - or rather forgetful, because I have written drama before - to imagine that my first draft script, or my second, or my third, might bring me to within sight of a conclusion. No chance.

Integrating the dramatic script with the music, dance and songs is proving to be a hugely complicated job. It is a thrilling ride, but - rather as I felt the time my daughters persuaded me onto the big wheel at Hull Fair - I keep asking myself when the hell it will end.

We open November 7th in Koln. 


I am working, and working well, I think, with song-writer and composer Steve Nobles, late of Texas, now of Koln (https://www.nobles.de/en/musical-direction/). And, after a two-day session this week, I now have to return to my tattered, all but shredded version of the script and piece it together around some song ideas he is working on. We have brewed up some fine dramatic moments, and have just about managed to make all the characters interesting in some way.

So today, World Cup Final day, with the sun blazing down, I will attempt to make sense of page after page of scribbled notes and put a shine on a script that is slowly turning into a thing of beauty.